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Hybrid cannabis strains are the cornerstone of the cannabis industry. Most cannabis strains in dispensaries are technically hybrids.

Depending on your desired effect, you will look for strains that elicit euphoria, promote relaxation, or provide a balanced mix of effects. However, each strain affects everyone differently.

Here, we will cover the differences between hybrid cannabis strains, sativa strains, and indica strains, focusing on hybrids. While these strain classifications are a good starting point for first-time users, we recommend assessing the strain's chemical profile (cannabinoids, terpenes, etc.) to determine the right strain for you.

What Are Cannabis Strains?

Cannabis plants are dioecious, meaning they reproduce sexually. Each strain has traits of its mother and father plant. Over time, these strains have been classified into three main categories: sativa, indica, and hybrid. Because the cannabis plant is dioecious, two indica dominant parents of the same strain can produce a sativa-dominant child.

Cannabis ruderalis is a type of cannabis species known for its autoflowering capabilities instead of photoperiodic flowering traits. This means that ruderalis plants flower about 3 to 4 weeks after sprouting from seeds, regardless of the light cycle, unlike photoperiodic plants that switch to the flowering phase when the plants receive 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. 

What Are Hybrid Cannabis Strains?

In today's cannabis space, nearly all strains are considered hybrid strains, meaning they are bred by combining genetics from sativa and indica strains. Generally, hybrid cannabis strains are indica-dominant, sativa-dominant, or balanced, depending on their genetics and growing environment. 

What Do Hybrid Strains Look Like?

hybrid cannabis leaves on table

Depending on their genetics, hybrid strains can look more like the slender and tall sativa strains, short and bushy indica strains, or a mix of both. Its leaves can be broad like indica strains, narrow like sativa strains, or somewhere in between.

Besides genetics, their growing environment can determine their height, structure, color, and trichome content.

What Are the Effects of Hybrid Strains?

Hybrid cannabis effects vary depending on their genetics and growing environment. Hybrids can elicit euphoria, promote relaxation, or have a balanced mix of effects. Like sativa plants and indica plants, hybrids can reduce anxiety and stress, ease pain and nausea, and produce other effects of cannabis.

What Medical Conditions Do Marijuana Hybrids Treat?

Cannabis hybrids can provide substantial relief for various medical conditions, similar to cannabis indica and cannabis sativa strains. Here are a few symptoms and conditions that hybrid cannabis plants can treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • PTSD
  • Migraines

Hybrid strain effects depend on the individual and their endocannabinoid system (ECS). We recommend trying out different marijuana strain varieties to determine the right one for you.

Are Hybrid Strains Better for Daytime or Nighttime Use?

Generally, sativa strains are preferred for daytime energy, while indica strains are preferred for relaxing effects in the evening or nighttime. Hybrid strain effects and the best use time depend on their effects and your desired effects. There is no best time to take hybrid strains. It ultimately depends on how you want to feel.


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Most cannabis strains in dispensaries will be hybrids technically. However, most retailers classify their marijuana buds as either sativa, indica, or hybrid. Sativa and indica classifications generally mean sativa-dominant or indica-dominant, although there may be some pure sativas and indicas.

Popular hybrid cannabis strains include:

  • Pineapple Express
  • Trainwreck
  • Blue Dream
  • Cannatonic
  • White Widow
  • AK-47
  • OG Kush
  • Original Glue
  • Wedding Cake

Cannabis farmers are developing new strains at a fast pace, each with a unique chemical composition.

How to Find the Right Cannabis Strain

If you are new to marijuana, there are a few things to keep in mind to find suitable strains for you. Consider these tips to find the right cannabis product.

Determine Your Desired Effects

What type of effects are you looking for from marijuana? Consult with a budtender to find a cannabis strain that can provide the kind of relief you need. Each strain has different psychoactive effects that can vary by person.

Understand Your Tolerance

As a first-time user, tolerances to marijuana are low, requiring smaller doses or strains with lower THC or no THC content. Strains with high THC levels can produce adverse effects. Potential side effects include couch lock, anxiety, paranoia, nausea, confusion, dry mouth, and dry eyes.

Consult a Healthcare Professional

Cannabis can provide substantial relief for various symptoms and conditions but can work against users in some cases. Before using cannabis as a treatment, consult with a healthcare professional to determine whether cannabis can interact with certain medications and work for your medical condition.

Choose a Consumption Method

Cannabis can be consumed in various ways, including inhalation, orally, sublingually, and topically. Each method offers unique benefits and disadvantages.

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Inhalation can produce fast-acting effects but can be bad for those with respiratory conditions. Edibles can be easy to consume, but the effects take a long time to kick in and produce a more potent intoxication. 

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Whether you want to start growing cannabis, use it as medicine, find a cannabis career, or create your own business, CTU can help. Enroll today!

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